Gainesville Personal Injury, Divorce and Alimony Attorney

Abuse or Exploitation of an elderly person, a violation of section 825.102(1).

In Florida, Chapter 825 addresses the criminal offense of Abuse or Exploitation of the Elderly. “Elderly person” is defined by law to mean “a person 60 years of age or older who is suffering from the infirmities of aging as manifested by advanced age or organic brain damage, or other physical, mental, or emotional dysfunctioning, to the extent that the ability of the person to provide adequately for the person’s own care or protection is impaired.”

Several prosecutors have shared their opinion, that all the state has to prove is to qualify a person under this statute is that the alleged victim be over the age of 60 and be abused. This of course ignores the fact that today some 60 year olds are in better physical shape than our obese youth. There was very little guidance on what the statute meant. Does it mean 60 or “60 years of age or older who is suffering for the infirmities of aging”?

Today the Second District Court of Appeal handed down a case, Watson v. State, in which they acknowledged the case was decided against a “clean slate” of analysis. The Court held that “to establish that a person qualifies as an ‘elderly person’ under the statute requires proof of three elements: (1) the person is sixty years of age or older; (2) he or she suffers from one or more of the infirmities of aging resulting in some kind of physical, mental, or emotional dysfunction; and (3) the extent of the person’s resultant dysfunction is such that it impairs his or her ability to provide adequately for his or her own care or protection.”  Therefore to prove exploitation or abuse of the elderly the alleged victim must not only be 60 years of age but also exhibiting signs of the infirmities of aging.

This should apply to all exploitation of the elderly cases and abuse of the elderly cases in Florida. However, since the Court just made all criminal exploitation of the elderly and abuse of the elderly cases in Florida more difficult for the State to prove, the State will likely continue to fight the issue.  There is also available an injunction for protection from the exploitation of a vulnerable adult, so if the State does not act, the family of the victim may still intervene.

If you or someone you know is facing the felony charges of Abuse or Exploitation of the Elderly or is otherwise in need of an lawyer in a criminal case then please click or call today to strategize with a criminal defense lawyer.

Gainesville (352) 371-9141

Ocala (352) 694-4529

Dunnellon, Florida Red Light Camera Citations

I finally got to litigate the Dunnellon red Light Camera; after what feels like an eternity of fielding calls a resident finally issued a challenge to the government. The Dunnellon red light camera case was dismissed. Fighting the red light camera ticket was worth it because the government is lacking a very necessary step. I am not going to say what they are missing. If the Dunnellon officer in court was paying attention, they know why the case was dismissed. I urge all of you issued a citation from a red light camera in Dunnellon, Florida to fight back.

Several people have challenged the red citations issued from red light cameras across the state. Recently the Fourth District Court of Appeals held that the statutory scheme does not violate the Equal Protection clause of the United States and Florida Constitutions because ‘owners’ of vehicles are a different class of citizens than ‘drivers’ of vehicles. My constitutional arguments were going to be different as I actually agree that the driver is not necessarily the owner.

I still feel that the violation is of the fifth and fourteenth amendment and not of the equal protection clause. For example if you allow a fourteen year old to drive, you have committed the criminal offense of allowing an unauthorized minor to drive. The statutory scheme of the red light cameras requires that, in order to avoid the citation, you must file a sworn statement which could be in direct violation of the constitution. The shifting of the burden from the government to the citizen is fraught with problems and is why the government is supposed to prove its case against you and not the other way around.

If you have been issued a citation in Dunnellon for a red light camera violation or any other traffic ticket or criminal case click or call today for a consultation.

Gainesville (352) 371-9141

Ocala (352) 694-4529

Why hire a traffic lawyer instead of making a traffic school election?

Why hire a traffic ticket defense attorney when I can just choose school to have points removed? One reason is that you only have five (5) times in your life to elect traffic school. If this is your first ever citation, then why burn an election? Save it. If you received two or more citations, then most of the time the only way to have points removed entirely is to take your cases to court.

Because you can only choose school five (5) times, the DHSMV has to track those elections for the life of the driver.  This means that a citation where school is elected actually stays on the driver’s history longer than if the Court withholds points.  According to the DHSMV, a school election stays on the record for 75 years, just like a DUI.

Another reason to fight your ticket is that the only way to have your traffic ticket or citation dismissed, or to not be on the record is to choose to have a contested hearing or trial and be found not guilty. If there is no hearing, the traffic case will never be dismissed.  It sounds crazy but several attorneys will take your money and never attend or send anyone to court. There is no reason to hire a law firm if an attorney will not be present in court.

A driver not licensed in Florida should also be aware that the laws of the licensing state may require an amendment such as a reduction in speed in order to maintain the driving privilege. Several drivers ensnared in the changing speed limit zones in Waldo, Florida come across this issue.  Furthermore, many states do not recognize the election of school to remove points and require a court’s order instead of the driver’s election to honor the removal of points.  CDL drivers do not have a school election and should never go it alone.

To hire a traffic ticket defense lawyer, click, call or fill out the form.

Gainesville (352) 371-9141

Ocala (352) 694-4529